Love and courtship in Shakespeare’s day compared to modern views on love and courtship.
During the renaissance the Europeans saw love and courtship as two different yet important parts of life. It concerned expectations of families and communities, not just the longings of the couple. Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night Dream’ gives us a clear view of a typical situation when couples fall in love and defy the rules. In the play there are four characters (Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius) all of which fall into one big love catastrophe. Both Lysander and Demetrius loved Hermia at the beginning of the play, Hermia loved Lysander and Helena loved Demetrius, as the play goes on both Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with Helena . In the end Hermia and Lysander reunite and Helena and Demetrius fall in love. In Robert Herrick’s ’To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time’, the poem shares a common message with the Europeans of the renaissance period and that is to live life to the absolute fullest. How does the renaissance view compare with the modern views on love and courtship?
Love in the renaissance was an over powering force which could be both spiritual and sexual. Spiritual love means love without expectations. Normally when one loves anyone there is some form of expectation attached and it is conditional. However spiritual love is unconditional, no matter what the circumstances are. This form of love is divine and only develops after a considerable amount of spiritual practice when one perceives God in everyone. So also, we become happier individuals when our love is not adulterated or diluted by expectations. The Poets of the renaissance time period believed love was pure and selfless emotion. Yet some poets believed love was sexual. Sexual love is a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction. They believed sexual desire is a vital part of love. However In midsummer night dream there are two situations in which it’s contradicted ,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document